Breaking!!! Abia doctors to embark on 3-day warning strike over salary arrears
By Steve Oko
The Nigerian Medical Association Abia State Chapter has threatened to embark on a 3 – day -warning strike with total withdrawal of services of doctors from all government -owned hospitals in the state including the Federal Medical Center, FMC, Umuahia.This, according to NMA is in protest to six months of salary arrears owed staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, and the staff of Health Management Board, HMB.The warning strike according to a press statement by NMA will commence from Wednesday 13th February, 2019 to 12 midnight on Friday, 15th February.Consequently, the doctors gave government a seven -day ultimatum which will elapse on Wednesday next week.NMA said the only condition to back down on the threat is, if before the expiration of the ultimatum, the state Government clears the said arrears which it said had brought untold hardship on the affected staff.The decision to down tools was taken at a well -attended emergency general meeting held at the Consulting Complex Federal Medical Center Umuahia .According to the statement, in attendance at the meeting were heads of health institutions , medical elders ,past state chairmen of the association and heads of affiliate bodies.Apart from clearing the backlog of salary arrears as the only condition to shelve the planned strike, NMA also said government must present a documented plan on how to address all outstanding arears of other allowances.In a communiqué issued by the association at the end of the emergency general meeting, Government must comply with the demand or face a total strike after the warning strike .The communique signed by the state chairman of NMA, Dr Carol Iwuoha and the State secretary ,Dr Umenwa Joachim, respectively, warned government against toying with the welfare of medical workers.The communique was copied to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, the Honorable minister of health ,Abia state Commissioner for Health, the Director of Security Services DSS ,the President, Nigerian Medical Association and All heads of Government Health Institutions in Abia state.The communique made available to Wawa News Global read in parts :“NMA observed the regrettable lingering problem of Salary arears of 11 months and 8 months owed ABSUTH and HMB doctors respectively, despite several engagements with the Nigerian medical Association and promises by government to address the backlog of salary arears.” Government should as a matter of urgency pay ABSUTH doctors at least 6 months salary arears and HMB doctors 4 months salary arears on or before Tuesday 12th February 2019,in addition to a documented plan on how to address all outstanding arears.” Failure on the part of government to do as above will result in a 3 – day – warning strike with total withdrawal of services of doctors from all government owned hospitals in Abia” NMA appeals to the appropriate agencies of the state government to intensify efforts to ensure speedy resolution of the issue in contention to forestall the current looming Strike action.”End
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